Atari SA - perhaps best known for 1980s video-games “Pac-Man” and “Space Invaders” - is now jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.


Shares in the Paris-based company have soared more than 60 percent since it gave further details of its crypto push on Feb. 8, after first mentioning some of the plans in December. Atari is taking a stake in a company that’s building a blockchain-based digital entertainment platform and, as part of that agreement, it will create its own digital currency called Atari Token. The company is also expanding its online casino-gaming partnership with Pariplay Ltd. to allow gambling with digital currencies.

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Blockchain Penetration of the Business Landscape

The current economic ecosystem, especially in the areas of the video game industry and online transactions,” Atari Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederic Chesnais said in the statement. “Our aim is to take strategic positions with a limited cash risk, in order to best create value with the assets and the Atari brand.”

Atari isn’t the only stock that has benefited from links with cryptocurrencies. Shares of Eastman Kodak Co. jumped 245 percent in two days after it said last month it’s working with a company that promotes paparazzi photos to offer a blockchain-based service for paying photographers. And, in perhaps the most bizarre of such moves, the unprofitable iced-tea company formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea Corp. gained 183 percent in a day after re-branding as Long Blockchain Corp. in December.

Atari at the Edge of Bankruptcy

Fred Chesnais is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Atari Game Partners. At the beginning of February, he gave an interview highlighting how when the company’s current leadership took over they were facing losses over $30 million for the year, with debts also in excess of $35 million. He was eager to point out that from that point his team has been able to reduce debt to zero, while also turning Atari profitable. Pulling Atari from the cusp of bankruptcy years ago, make it clear that Atari is not in the same dire situation as Kodak. However, dire situation or not, Atari has been fairly irrelevant since their original system was launched fading into oblivion since. Atari does not have any major break-through products on the horizon which provided them the perfect opportunity to capitalize on their own ICO. If no name teams from Russia and China are able to raise millions of dollars for products in preliminary stages of development, why shouldn’t Atari too? Well, it casts doubt over the entire blockchain technology and cryptocurrency markets each time a coin with little purpose is created.

Shares in Atari Game Partners climbed on the Paris exchange from under $0.40 in December to over $0.75 as of February 16, 2018. Individuals who purchased Atari shares before their blockchain announcement were able to attain 100 percent returns solely based on the speculation of Atari entering the blockchain technology space. Atari is purchasing a stake in a company that is building a blockchain-based digital entertainment platform. Included in their agreement is a clause ensuring a digital currency called the Atari Token is created. Atari is also expanding their online casino partnership with Pariplay Ltd. To allow gambling using digital currencies. It seems Atari may actually have a plan for their cryptocurrency and blockchain endeavor!

Blockchain technology is poised to take a very important place in our environment and to transform, if not revolutionize, the current economic ecosystem, especially in the areas of the video game industry and online transactions.

Blockchain, The Future of Atari?

Atari has been pasting their logo across merchandise for years as an easy way to raise funds with little overhead. Recently, they have begun discussions to bring a replica Atari console back. Nintendo has had recent success in their launching of replica consoles, and Atari seems also to be attempting this strategy. The Ataribox concept is posed for launch sometime in 2018 as long as the nostalgia remains strong. Atari has also taken part in multiple crowdfunding campaigns working with Roller Coaster Tycoon and Nintendo. It seems Atari has found a way to specialize in crowdfunding, allowing them to raise money for upcoming projects without substantial overhead. An ICO is the blockchain’s method for fundraising and given Atari’s current business model seems like the next logical step. It seems regardless if the Atari Token will have any utility it is on the horizon. Given Atari’s gambling partnerships and entertainment partnerships, the Atari Token may be a surprise winner from what had been considered a failing company.